The Countess Behind the Lines
Living in France and working for the Red Cross during 1940 Countess Mary Lindell (Judy Davis) is extremely observant when it comes to allied soldiers who end up behind enemy lines, knowing what they should and shouldn't do when it comes to going unnoticed. But then Mary has a secret side as she assists stranded allied soldiers to return home at great risk to her self as well as her children. And it is her daughter Barbe (Kate Beckinsale) who complicates matters when she becomes involved with a young German Officer.
"One Against the Wind" is a curious little made for TV movie made all the more curious by revelations in 2015 which bring in to debate some of the claims made by Mary Lindell over her work with the resistance during WWII as well as questioning her title of Countess. I say little purely because it isn't the movie you might expect it to be as it flits between the portrayal of the Countess and what she is said to have done during the WWII as well as what her family are said to have done.
So let me explain what I am on about as on one hand we get shown that Lindell aided stranded allied men to get back home, smuggling them out sometimes directly under the nose of the enemy. But whilst we get shown an almost cockiness at times to the bravado of carrying this off there isn't a great of depth to how she went about doing this. Oh we see the danger with various close shaves especially with some within the German army targeting her but all of these scenes seem to be included to show Lindell's bravado in the face of danger.
As such there is as much focus on the character of Mary Lindell with Judy Davis playing her with that air of British stiff upper lip and never say die gusto. It is an entertaining performance but one which lacks depth as we never truly get to learn why she did what she did and how she felt especially when her daughter started to date a German officer. It only ever hints at what Lindell may have felt which gives the impression that this movie was based on the slimmest of facts rather than first person accounts of Lindell.
What this all boils down to is that "One Against the Wind" now works more along the lines of an introduction to Mary Lindell rather than an in-depth look at who she was and what she did. This seems more than ever the case considering the findings in 2015 which question exactly how much she did during WWII.